This mule died for your holiday snaps...


Yesterday we reported that Jessops had been saved from extinction following a deal with HSBC which converted the camera specialist’s debts into equity for the bank.

Many of you thought it was as pointless as blowing the head off a live mule and that Jessops are doomed to failure sooner or later.

That got us a-thinking as to how photography was actually pioneered and it turns out that back in 1878, it was all done with no small amount of help from blowing the head off a live mule! Whoulda thunk it?

Turns out that one Charles Bennett discovered a gelatin dry plate emulsion which gave him the ability to expose photographs almost immediately. Naturally, the best way he could come up with to demonstrate this was… drum roll… to blow the head off a live mule.

Bennett simply connected the camera and the mule’s dynamite necklace so that they would both go off at the same time and hey presto, the world was changed forever.

Charles Bennett – a smart man. Also a strange and unfeasibly cruel man.

[Stereoviews via Gizmodo via loads of other places]



  • Mr C., 1878 style...
  • Craig
    I presume Charles Bennet was American? Only a yank would think "hmm, I can take instant photographs, what use could this possibly be put to?.... I know! I'll blow the head off a live animal and capture the exact moment!"
  • Gunn
  • zeddy
    I hope the bastard lost his cock from the recoil. I'm just shooting from the hip here obviously.
  • Amanda H.
    I dont believe that story for one minute. Your telling me an American actually blew up something he planned to? pffft
  • Tyl
    Well the mule had the last laugh - the guys dead.
  • kyalion
    @ Amanda What we didn't get told was that it also killed 58 onlookers accidentally. Living the American dream, eh?
  • NobbyB
    They should have done the same thing when youtube was born.
  • pete d.
    He probably photoshopped it.

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